Plants: RNA notes for self

Photo of Arabidopsis thaliana, a relative of mustard, developing properly. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Professor David Jackson and his team have discovered a protein required for normal development that helps plant cells exchange RNA messages. Credit: Munenori Kitagawa/Jackson lab/CSHL, 2021

How does a growing plant know how, where and when to grow? Dividing cells need to pass messages from each other to coordinate growth. In plants, important messages are packaged in RNA, which is sent from one cell to another. Studying the mustard plant Arabidopsis thaliana, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) Professor David Jackson and his team found that RNA messages need a special protein to accompany them where they need to go. Without this accompaniment, the cells cannot coordinate and the plant fails to develop properly.

Unlike animal cells, plant cells are surrounded by a rigid cell wall. Letters can cross this wall through tiny holes called plasmodesmata. “Plasmodesmata are nanochannels embedded in the cell wall. They mediate the transmission of various signals from one cell to another, including protein, RNA, hormones, and ions,” says Munenori Kitagawa, the postdoctoral researcher in the Jackson Laboratory who led this study. and nutrients.”

Kitagawa wondered how Plasmodesmata gates organize messages from one cell to another. The team discovered that RNA signaling depends on a protein called AtRRP44a. Reducing the amount of AtRRP44a slowed the movement of RNA messages; Due to the lack of the correct messages, plants fail to develop properly. A protein similar to this companion protein is found in plants, yeast, and other animals. The researchers were able to replace part of the Arabidopsis thaliana signaling system with parts from maize and restore normal development, showing that this signaling system is similar in many plant species. “Plants are very sophisticated,” says Jackson. “We think of them as just sitting around in their environment, not moving, but they’re really processing a lot of information. The different parts of the plant talk to each other, and share whether they have some pathogen attack or if they need to.” Some nutrients.

Plants: RNA notes for self

Defects in the RNA-based RNA messaging system lead to poor development, as in the case of Arabidopsis thaliana. Credit: Kitagawa/Jackson lab/CSHL, 2021

In a related study recently published in the journal ScienceJackson and his collaborators at New York University found that signals transmitted through these gates can increase the number of cell layers in corn roots, making plants more resilient to environmental changes.

“This paper represents an important step toward understanding how information is exchanged between cells to control development and other processes,” said John McDowell, program officer in the US National Science Foundation’s Directorate of Biological Sciences. “By revealing a new component of cell-to-cell communication, this research opens the door to further investigation that could allow us to harness this process.”


Discovery of a unique communication strategy in the stem cell pathway that controls plant growth


more information:
Munenori Kitagawa et al, Exogenous RNA subunit mediates cell-to-cell trafficking of homeostatic mRNA via plasmodesmata, Science (2022). DOI: 10.1126/science.abm0840. www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abm0840

Submitted by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

the quote: Plants: RNA Notes for the Self (2022, January 13) Retrieved January 13, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-01-rna.html

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